Page 436 - Social Espionage Operations

3rd May 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
<<First Latest>>
Social Espionage Operations
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd May 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
This is a great way to introduce a rival character or group, I find. You think your plan was pretty smart? Yeah, so did these other guys, independently, on their own.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



DoubleCross 3rd May 2014, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
The only way to resolve this clash is by a battle of lyrical magnitude.
SAFR 3rd May 2014, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
CrowMagnon 3rd May 2014, 5:53 PM edit delete reply
These hoity-toity types are too uptown for such vulgar displays. More like...

Scribejay 4th May 2014, 2:56 AM edit delete reply
Please, these are noble ponies. They'll be commissioning starving poets to represent them in the poetry slam.
Digo 4th May 2014, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
I've always been a fan of DanceFight.
Spade McTrowel 4th May 2014, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Breakdance Fight!
Time for the Electric Boogaloo
Great Dinn 4th May 2014, 5:58 AM EPIC(?) RAP(?) BATTLES OF EF AI DEEEEEEE edit delete reply
Great Dinn




So sorry I bumped into you, I just didn’t see you there
Where’s Fleur? Letting somepony else have their share?
But I digress, so good to see you, I needed inspiration
That outfit’s perfect for my next show “Eau de Castration”
And that mustache, I must say, is so perfectly groomed
How did you clean that rat up after it was exhumed?
Too much? But darling, I’m only just beginning
Even when it comes to rhyming, my works are prizewinning.

Rarity, so glad to have you back in Canterlot,
This time did you make sure to give your lying forethought?
Or do you think just like last time I’ll be bailing you out,
When you try just too hard to make use of my clout.
When they say VIP, they’re referring to me,
Not some two-bit tailor who, I’ve heard, assaults Royalty.
Are you surprised, or did you think no one would know
We watch all the “rustic” ponies, so why don’t you put on a show

It. Is. On.

I was holding back before, but I feel a shift in aligning,
I was complaining before, because now YOU GET WHINING
Is that suit the same? The one you wore last time I was here?
I wore six outfits that week, you’ve worn one this whole year.
Yes, you’re a VIP, a Very Insolent Prick
And that crowd you hang out with? So vapid it’s sick.
Birds of a feather though, isn’t that what they say?
After all, I know you weren’t born with your horn looking that way.
I’m an Element of Harmony, we’ve saved the world, twice,
You’ve attended some parties? Oh, well, that’s nice.
You’d better step up your game, this isn’t a charity
Now bow down and worship, for I. Am. Rarity.

Does Celestia know you’re trying to one-up her place?
Remember the last pony who did that was shot into space.
Best get off your high-horse, or you’re likely to fall
And that whole “Cloudsdale” stunt is getting rather banal
Why not do something you’re good at, like crying and bawling
Or make that Trenderhoof collection even more appalling
And do you know any Prench? Or do you just fake that too?
Prançais, maudite vache, parlez-vous?
You can’t put it together, you’re an absolute mess
With you at the hem, there’s no art in that dress
So long for now miss, this has been a fun fling
But try again, and it’ll be the worst possible thing.

James 4th May 2014, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Jungle Fury 4th May 2014, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
It is a thing...
Disloyal Subject 4th May 2014, 3:45 PM Rap Battles edit delete reply
I know there's others out there, too. Mic the Mic and some of the other folks on YouTube made a couple splendid ones - Iron Will VS Zecora, and Big Mac VS Blueblood. They, and this, are probably the best pony rap battles I've encountered. Bravo, Dinn!
NellzDaBlackKing 4th May 2014, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
Holy crap that was amazing. Now all we need is a PMV on YouTube and we're set.
FanOfMostEverything 3rd May 2014, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
I do appreciate the inclusion of the Derpy Easter egg. I can only imagine what the DM has planned for her.

"Oh, that's no one special. Certainly not an avatar of the goddess of destruction."

(Unlikely, of course, but I can dream.)
Destrustor 3rd May 2014, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
It's not an easter egg; paper bags are the fashion statement of the month in Canterlot.
It's just that not everyone can pull it off effectively, so they leave it to the professionals like Derpy.
Lyntermas 3rd May 2014, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
DM: At the dinner party, you see all manner of guests. You see Fancy Pants over at one of the tables chatting up with some of the guests.
Rarity: ...Heh. I didn't know Miss Derpy was in attendance.
DM: Pardon?
Rarity: Oh, I understand you have to reuse figurines for groups of NPCs. It's just that the grey pegasus with the..."distinct" eyes caught my attention. Didn't you say she was a mailmare back in Ponyville last time?
DM: Ah, so you noticed. Miss Derpy is chatting with another set of high socialites, wearing a paper bag on her head. The socialites don't seem to be reacting negatively or disparagingly, she's just treated like any other good friend. One of her eyes seems to look right at you and wink before turning back to her conversation.
Rarity: ...Wait, you're serious? Like, that was intentional? But...that raises so many questions-
DM: You notice Fancy Pants and his entourage moving into the gardens. If you don't follow them out, you might have difficulties claiming that you were just "bumping into them."
Rarity:...Very well, I shall go after Fancy Pants. But I'll be keeping an eye on you, Derpy Hooves.
FanOfMostEverything 3rd May 2014, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
Part of me can't help but suspect that Derpy's pulling a lesser version of the Bearington Gambit. "My eyes are fine, I'm wearing a disgustingly expensive dress, and this is the best conversation you've had all evening." (rolls Bluff)
█████ 4th May 2014, 1:35 AM Thank you: edit delete reply
Thank you for that link, FanOfMostEverything.
That website will most certainly be entering into my 'Interesting Stuff' bookmarks folder for later, lengthy perusing.
Digo 4th May 2014, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Bwahahaha, that is awesome. I should steal that.
aerion111 4th May 2014, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Aww, why couldn't you have given that links months ago? I JUST found that last week.
I knew about Bearington from before, of course, but the site's got other stories I haven't read too - I mostly find the stories about 'abusing' the rules, with 'abusing' being from the point of view of someone who thinks the only right way to play is dungeon-delving with a fighter, a rogue, and a mage. Maybe a Cleric too, if you're feeling like a maverick. But there's still a difference between rules-trickery, and just plain funny moments.
FanOfMostEverything 5th May 2014, 5:07 AM edit delete reply
Months ago, I didn't know about that site. When I wrote the above comment, I Googled "bearington bluff" and picked the site that looked the most interesting.

Remember, folks: always cite your sources. People will thank you.
Guest 3rd May 2014, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Panel seven, Rarity has gained the ability to charge and decapitate by headbutt.
DoubleCross 3rd May 2014, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Oh my god, his head is missing.

Maybe he's just appearifying in Rarity's way as the DM creates him...
Newbiespud 3rd May 2014, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
It's... It's a shopping bag, people.
Raxon 3rd May 2014, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Rarity must have the exotic weapons feat to kill a stallion with a shopping bag full of feathers.

Must have taken some pointers from Luke and Cory.
j-eagle12212012 3rd May 2014, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
No that is a stillframe of an Animatiors error -_-
Newbiespud 4th May 2014, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
It's... It's really not that complicated. Rarity was holding up the bag with her TK, walking down the street. She didn't see where she was going. She bumped into Fancy Pants - first with the bag, then with her head. The screenshot captures that precise moment, when Fancy Pants's head is obscured. And it's deliberately obscured so that the reveal of his face can be more dramatic.

It's not an error, a mistake, or some other kind of one-frame thing. This is just actually what happens in the show.
Great Dinn 4th May 2014, 4:11 AM edit delete reply
Great Dinn
That's not the fun way to look at it though.
Anvildude 4th May 2014, 4:49 AM edit delete reply
So what you're saying is that Rarity, with the funds she's aquired, has gone to a specialist Druid that's 'friendly' with her guild, and had her Horn enchanted as a Natural Vorpal Weapon?
Digo 4th May 2014, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
LOL, I admit the decapitating story is much more fun to imagine...
kriss1989 5th May 2014, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
Yes Newbie but if you look closely underneath the bag in the gap between it and the body, there is no neck you can see the background.
DoubleCross 4th May 2014, 4:24 AM edit delete reply
I like the appearifying version better.
Specter 3rd May 2014, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Personally, I like panel six a lot, and that is because it shows just an absurd amount of faces. (I say this because it is what I would want to see for the next super smash or something, a lot of choices.)
Trus Nam 3rd May 2014, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
I love how just about everything in Rarity's story is backwards to how it was in the show. Like how the diamond dog was the whiner instead. ^v^
ShadowDragon8685 3rd May 2014, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Rogue Off! Full steam ahead social integration!

Who knows, maybe she'll get a romance out of it. :)
Summoned Singer 3rd May 2014, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
minalkra 3rd May 2014, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
It was shifted one panel to the right by the force of Rarity's diplomancer RP skills.
Newbiespud 3rd May 2014, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
It's... Guys, it's being obscured by a shopping bag. Remember the circumstances in the show? Rarity was carrying all these supplies, didn't see where she was going, crashed into Fancy Pants and all these feathers and fabrics and dyes went everywhere?

Raxon 3rd May 2014, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
Rarity is decapitating random stallions with extremely tasteful shoping bags! Everybody run for your lives! The Equestrienne Aigner killer strikes again!
Specter 3rd May 2014, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
I just re-watched the episode. Newbiespud knows what he is talking about.
Digo 4th May 2014, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
True, but the crazy out-of-context theories are funny. :)
dracostarcloud 3rd May 2014, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
Rarity must have leveled up without us noticing to use the Weapon Focus: Paper Bag feat.
NeutralDemon 3rd May 2014, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
Raxon 3rd May 2014, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
And thus I return! I know not why the last page would not load properly.

Since nobody announced a story time, I declare story time to be all about rivals!

Tell about a rival you have had in a game! I got one for you.

Ransu is a very dangerous one man army, but then he heard about a mysterious battlefield ghost. A terrible spectre that dances in the tides of battle. An immortal demon that no man can lay hands on.

Ransu decides that he must find this man, and challenge him to a duel, because he was the best until these murmurs began.

It all came to a head when Ransu finally caught up to the rumors. He was there with one of his oldest friends, who was restraining him from confronting the demon of war.

"Let me go! I have to fight the demon!"

"No, Ransu, you are the demon."

And then Ransu was a furry.
Specter 3rd May 2014, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
...O...K. My turn.

One character of mine, Smoke-Paw, is a master less samurai (kensai?), and had tracked across the lands with only the knowledge of his kin at hand (Honor, Life, Peace.)

... Being chaotic evil, only the first one was ever followed.

One day, Smoke-Paw had travelled into a small village known for it's exotic imports of slaves, wine, and art (Rome?) While there, he met a man named Rellik, a notorious fighter in the local arena.

Long story short, they fought for the better part of a day, and they both fell unconscious due to dehydration and exhaust... Yeah, really anti-climatic (It was over an hour real time for this combat, so why not.)

They have ever since travelled together, with only the rivalry of defeating more enemies then the other. ... Not the best of friends, but hey, that's why their evil.
Specter 3rd May 2014, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
Huh... ok, now I get it.

Thank you.
Darkside 3rd May 2014, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Closest any of my characters have ever had to a rival was actually a member of our party.

In fact, Crow was assigned to be the partner of my character, Mishra, by the head of our house/guild.

Mishra was an emotionless officer whose favourite past times were drinking tea and filling out paperwork. Closest thing he's had to an emotion was a Heroic BSOD when his boss was killed.

Crow liked to shoot stuff. And by that, I mean he shot everything we fought, even though we had standing orders not to kill anyone.
Grinder 3rd May 2014, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
I actually have a story for this one. Rather recent too.

I've recently joined Shadowrun Denver, a mush community, with an Australian griffin shaman by the street name of Grinder (Whom used to be a pirate, but that is neither here nor there.)

While hanging out at a bar he met a woman whom had clearly wanted to be a fox girl, with the eyes, ears and tail, by the name of Kitfox. The two talked for a bit before Kitfox cast and illusion spell on Grinder and tried to steal his wallet... only for Grinder to resist the spell and be insulted by the slight against him before he began to chase her down to claim blood.

Kitfox vanished from the physical plane, leaving the wallet behind, reveling her nature as a free spirit. Grinder when Astral and pursed for a while before losing her because his intelligence was somewhat average and he couldn't keep up.

Once he had the chance to calm down and think about everything, Grinder started to view what Foxkit did as a favor. She had exposed a weakness in himself that he wasn't happy with and thus needed to improve himself.

They're rivalry is more that the two of them will meet up every now and then and spar. Once Kitfox knocks Grinder out, she tends to steal whatever money he has on him.
Digo 4th May 2014, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
I've never had a rival to any of my PCs. A real shame too, I would have liked to have one with some of the characters I've had (The swordmaster would be a perfect PC to have a rival with).
aerion111 4th May 2014, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
Nothing too exiting, but I feel I should still give my short version:
I'm currently in a game where I have a 'friendly rival' due to some NPC-relationship mechanics leaving us pseudo-siblings (as in, educated by the same grandmotherly individual, and actual siblings of people who often hang out together (him being adopted, me being half-sibling))
There's been many hijinx of one trying to out-Intimidate the other, to the detriment of the poor goblins.
I think there would be more fun stuff to mention if I wasn't trying to keep it quiet - we were the most vocal players, and I was trying to get the others to join in. So, humor had to take a back seat to keeping the game alive, I'm afraid.
kriss1989 5th May 2014, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
"Hey brain, have I ever had an in game rival?"

"None that were good enough to either survive the first encounter or function as someone that could actually rival you rival without the DM being arbitrary and unfair just for the sake of drama. You are basically Gary Oak "too good to be challenged", Reimu "you just die", or Spike "the plot makes you a butt monkey"."

"MLP Spike or Buffy Spike?"

"Buffy Spike, you know awesome and badass that the plot's just mean to."

Interesting note about that "DM fiat win rival" deal? I've only dealt with it twice. The first time once I realized the rival wasn't that good, the DM was just making him win, I responded by "giving up" in the DM's words. If the 'rival' plot device showed up I didn't compete and just let him win. The whole group soon just ignored him. It got to the point that we basically left the rival alone to fight an ancient red dragon while the party just left. He still won unlike the 'cowards'. I don't think the DM ever got that we didn't freaking care about the guy, who was basically a DM God-PC that just wasn't in the party. Early high school D&D usually sucks.

The second time it happened a couple years later I decided o mess with the DM pulling that shit. Instead of getting frustrated/motivated to beat/obsessed (which the DM expected to become a motivator he could yank for plot manipulation), my character instead went fanboy on the 'rival'. And why not, the guy was clearly quite awesome and the people adored him; my character was just one more fan. The campaign continued anyway on the "right" railroad tracks, but died in less than a month. We started a new game with a different DM, and the previous DM refused to join because we were "retarded" and "didn't get his game." High school.
Night Writer 4th May 2014, 5:00 AM edit delete reply
Once upon a time, back when I ran Hackmaster 4th Edition, I tried to cobble together a rival adventuring party to challenge my own. Each character was chosen either as an evil opposite for an existing character, to appeal to the weakness of the player, or was meant to be an evil reflection on another player's usual character type. They were part of this long, involved plan to get the group back to a legendary lost dungeon they'd discovered. The group had ignored about half of what was in the module I was using and I came up with the idea that there might be something bigger and better hidden in a new area I'd created for the purpose of this story. (And they hadn't at all been subtle about the dungeon they'd found, what with selling the customized pewter mugs they'd found with the place's name and coat of arms on it)

None of them fell for it. The one member of the evil party who'd maneuvered her way into the heart of the ladies' man paladin couldn't get anything out of him regarding the keep. They weren't getting the hints that there might be more out there worth finding. At one point, I even had one of the evil NPCs even dug up the corpse of a dead player character who'd once been part of the group and arranged for them to wake up one morning finding that character's disembodied hand clutching one of the engraved mugs.

Nothing. Not because they saw through the trick. Oh, no. But because they'd found so enough treasure in the nearby caves that the local merchants couldn't afford to buy it all and their first priority was finding the nearest big city to sell all of their loot.
Disloyal Subject 4th May 2014, 3:57 PM Tomb Raidage edit delete reply
Um... what else do you do with loot? Selling it's probably faster than building a dungeon of their own to stash it in while they quest, and surer to work.
Raxon 4th May 2014, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
A party I sat in on had a similar, though much more extreme problem. They got so much treasure, and so much gold, that their gold count was in the trillions. (DM just loved dragons, so naturally, all dragons all the time, and they gad huge hoards.

They did the math, and found that they could build a mansion out of gold.

Screw that! They built giant robot lions!
aerion111 5th May 2014, 2:40 AM edit delete reply
Man, sounds like they did not have a proper plan for their loot.
I never go without plans for MY loot.
Such as having sketched out roughly what it'd cost in materials to build your own Earth-sized planet in Pathfinder (Most of the cost is making the spell permanent, actually) It'd probably be flat, because why make it round when there's no benefit, but still.
It isn't even all that much - a few generations of the top magic-item-makers working hard would buy them enough to pay for it AND pay the fee for the 20th-level wizard to do it. It'd even be a better world than the Material Plane (because you can make it super fertile and stuff)

So, mansion of gold? Nah, I'll just retire to my family's private continent.

On the smaller scale, I find Pathfinder's rules for magical items allow for a lot of knick-knacks to sink gold into - bandages of cure light, lantern of dancing lights, wrench of repair, etcetera.
Digo 6th May 2014, 5:56 AM edit delete reply
Gold is so soft though. They wouldn't be very tough robot lions. Though gold for the electrical components would be very efficient!
kriss1989 4th May 2014, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Prediction: Fancy Pants will actually be a noble noble and amaze Rarity with being honestly that good.
aerion111 4th May 2014, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
I'd take the opposite bet, but unfortunately this comment-section doesn't seem to accept my kinda currency.
A shame, really.
Raxon 5th May 2014, 12:31 AM edit delete reply
I know, right?

It's so hard to find people who deal in macaroni art and jars of human blood.
aerion111 5th May 2014, 2:32 AM edit delete reply
Jars of human blood sounds like it'd be easy to move in the US, but over here in Norway they unfortunately expect you to donate blood for free.
If only there was some sort of shortage, such as due to an increase in accidents leading to blood-loss, so that they'd start providing more of an incentive to donate.
Specter 5th May 2014, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
... I see where you are coming at this from, that much I can say. I just don't know how to respond to it. (good, bad ,???)

On a side note to blood donations, I can't even loss a table spoons worth without coming close to passing out.
Raxon 5th May 2014, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
They expect you to donate? Screw that! If they want free blood, they can come and take it!
kriss1989 5th May 2014, 9:22 PM edit delete reply
Not to the Red Cross, they wind up using less than half the blood they collect and sell most of it.
Raxon 5th May 2014, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
You can sell your blood to plenty of places.

Mostly laboratories.
Digo 6th May 2014, 5:57 AM edit delete reply
I generally exchange my blood at a blood center for cookies and apple juice. :q